Middle Passage Project


For 350 years, ships brought 12 million Africans to be enslaved in what is now the United States. Millions of others didn’t survive the trip.

Saint Augustine and Amelia Island were among the 50 ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts where the slaves were sold.

Now the Middle Passage and Port Markers Project aims to place memorials at each of the ports.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Slavery in the U.S. came to an end 148 years ago today, when Union soldiers sailed into Galveston, Texas with the news that President Abraham Lincoln had abolished the practice two-and-a-half years earlier.

The anniversary of the event, which came to be known as Juneteenth, is celebrated around the country, including here in Jacksonville. 

They were the notorious slave ships ferrying Africans from their homeland into bondage on U.S. shores.

The Middle Passage, or the route the slave ships took, brought more than 10 million people to America who would become slaves. Two million more died in the ocean crossing. 

The Middle Passage Project is now working to place historic markers around the Florida coast, at ports where the slave ships docked. Future sites of remembrance include Amelia Island and St. Augustine.